As one of less than 20 FastTrack partners in the UK, risual can utilise Microsoft’s FastTrack services to drive digital transformation for our clients and speed up the process of adopting new technology. In this case, as their assigned FastTrack partner, this client came to risual with the need to ensure that their Teams deployment would fit their specific business requirements. The client required Teams to be deployed alongside Skype for Business, where Teams would be used for collaboration work, group meetings and content sharing, and Skype for Business would continue to be used for Instant Messaging and one to one calls.

Meeting requirements 

An initial introduction call was carried out between risual and the client. The FastTrack collaboration benefit was introduced formally, and the clients’ expectations were set as far as what FastTrack would be able to deliver and at which point the client would have to engage risual for value-add services (if necessary).

Following the introduction to the benefit, Ben Ward, one of risual’s Office 365 consultants, was engaged to help the client with their Teams requirement. Calls were set up for the client’s technical team to discuss the intricacies of their needs with Ben and what their limitations were. In this case, the primary concern was around security, and ensuring that none of the Teams configuration would bypass the security settings and standards implemented for Skype for Business.

Ben worked with the client to discuss their configuration options and what routes would be suitable for them. A final decision was made on the route chosen and Ben advised on the issues they needed to be aware of. As per the FastTrack guidelines, the client then went ahead and implemented Teams themselves, rolling out pilots before beginning final migrations.

Increasing Active Usage

The FastTrack collaboration engagement with the client began with introduction calls and within two months of the beginning of the engagement, the client had achieved over 40% Active Usage of the Teams service. They are now at 50% Active Usage, with the bulk of this having been achieve over the month of April.

Utilising FastTrack 

The FastTrack benefit is a program ran by Microsoft. As FastTrack Ready Partners, risual can provide an advice and guidance service to the client, providing the additional industry knowledge they require to complete deployment of Microsoft 365 workloads themselves:

  • The program is free of charge, making it easily accessible, (for clients who are eligible)
  • FastTrack enables the client to gain the knowledge required for their deployment that would only be otherwise achieved with years of experience in the industry.
  • As it is not a hands-on benefit and the client is expected to carry out the implementation work themselves which can help give the client’s IT engineers the confidence that they need with the services they are deploying.
  • FastTrack can help build and maintain client confidence in their partner.

It is important to acknowledge that this engagement was a FastTrack led benefit. The client was made aware of their access to value-add services if they were not able to complete the requirements through the benefit. This engagement was carried out entirely without the aid of any Microsoft SME’s or MVM’s. This engagement is a primary example of how risual can leverage primary resources as well as Microsoft’s and get a great result.

risual were contacted on 18th March 2020 and by May 2020, the FastTrack collaboration engagement, utilising Microsoft Teams, was entirely finalised with the client having carried out all pilots and happy with the result and the configuration chosen. The next step in the FastTrack engagement is currently taking place looking at Intune for Windows 10 Bring Your Own Device. Regarding Teams, the client is exploring the full roll-out to a Teams only solution in the beginning of 2021.

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